On Sunday's I am 50/50 with my workouts, depending on how the week goes. It's either a relaxed day or a super hard day of training. If it is a relaxed day I at least make an effort to get my muscles back to their neutral state. I am sure you have you seen that grey cylinder looking thing in the gym, It should become your new best friend, meet the foam roller.
Foam rolling also know as self myofascial release is the technical name for giving yourself a massage. Don't get me wrong I love getting a massage more often than not, but this definitely helps. My masage therapist even recommends to use the foam roller each day.
When you exercise regularly it breaks down the muscle fibers literally tearing them apart. As you recover the muscles reattach making them stronger. When you use the foam roller it helps speed along the healing process. It increases blood flow throughout the body while releasing tight fascia and alleviating the tightness you may be feeling. After you recover fully your muscles become elastic and ready to perform.
Here are few ways to roll out your muscles: When I find a spot that is more sore than others I try to hold the roller in that position for about 30 seconds then continue to roll.
Back: Sit on the floor with the foam roller under your lower back, resting your hands behind you for support. For more intense pressure cross your arms in front of your chest. Tighten your ab muscles and bend and straighten your knees to roll up and down your back. This can be done on the upper and lower back. For even more intense pressure push your shoulders towards the ground.
IT Band: Lie on your side with the roller on the outside of your thigh at the top of the knee, place your hands on the floor under your shoulders, bracing your abs and glutes use your arms to help roll your body moving the roller just above the side of the knee to your hip. You can bend your opposite leg to decrease the pressure and help with balance.
Calves: Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you, place the foam roller under your calves and you hands on the floor behind you to support your weight. move the roller back and forth from the bottom of the knee to ankle. To increase the pressure place one leg on top of the other and continue to roll.
Hamstrings: Repeat the calf exercise, but place the roller under hamstrings, roll from the him to just above the back of the knee. If you point and flex your feet as well as turning them in and out it will help to pinpoint different areas of the muscle.
Quads: Put your body in an upward facing dog position with the roller under our thighs and toes on the floor. Press your hands into the ground and move your body forward and back.